The San Francisco 49ers announced that they have signed tight end Vance McDonald to a five-year contract worth $35 million. McDonald was due to hit free agency after is now under contract through the 2021 season. ESPN is reporting the deal includes $16 million in guaranteed money.
McDonald, a four year veteran from Rice University has set receiving records this season with two touchdown receptions of 65 yards or more, one for 65 yards and a second for 75 yards. McDonald is only the fourth tight end since the merger to reach that mark. His receiving average this season of 16.3 yards per catch is second only to New England’s Rob Gronkowski.
General manager Trent Baalke offered praise for McDonald just a couple weeks ago. He said, “Vance has done a real nice job, especially the last four to five games. He’s really coming along and developing into the player we always thought he would. He’s gotten much more consistent, he’s doing a good job blocking. He’s a good all-around football player and he has a chance in this scheme to do some things as you say because the matchups are favorable.”
It is no surprise then to see the extension follow up. It comes ten months after the team signed Garrett Celek to a four-year extension through the 2019 season. Second-year tight end Blake Bell is signed through 2018.
McDonald had this to say about the extension.
General manager Trent Baalke had this to say about McDonald’s extension
"Vance has shown consistent growth throughout his four-year career and his production this season is the result of his dedication and hard work. We believe he has only scratched the surface of what he will be able to accomplish in his career. Vance is a tremendous ambassador for the 49ers, and his passion for helping others provides a wonderful example for this organization. We look forward to his continued contributions to this organization, both on and off the field.”
McDonald is also very active off of the field doing a great deal of charity work with Convoy of Hope which is the organization who co-sponsored Monday night’s event at Levi’s Stadium. He has been on mission trips to Haiti and Nicaragua which lead to him being a co-recipient of the Community Service Family Award from the organization. McDonald and his wife Kendi recently welcomed a son into their lives which has positively changed his outlook on life, both personally and professionally.